Tag Archives: Mainstream Media

New York Times forced to correct smear of Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Why do people think that CNN are biased leftist clowns?
Why do people think that the mainstream news media is biased?

It’s very troubling to me that people in my office who are on the left still think that mainstream news organizations and “fact checkers” are unbiased and reliable. When the mainstream news media or “fact checkers” are caught in a mistake, my co-workers never seem to become aware of it. They live in a bubble, consuming “news” that confirms what they already want to believe about the world.

Here’s an example where the New York Times printed smears against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and then had to issue a correction.

The Daily Wire reports:

The New York Times was forced to correct a smear article on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after it was revealed that they excluded exculpatory evidence from their report.

“An earlier version of this article, which was adapted from a forthcoming book, did not include one element of the book’s account regarding an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party,” The Times wrote in a correction. “The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.”

So, they printed an entire article about an alleged assault against this female student, and the actual female student declined to be interviewed and did not recall the incident.

According to John McCormack of National Review:

“Omitting this fact from the New York Times story is one of the worst cases of journalistic malpractice in recent memory.”

That’s mainstream news media, in a nutshell. In cases of fake news, the fake news story is always trumpeted on the front page. The correction gets printed days later, somewhere further back in the newspaper. If a correction is printed at all.

But what about the fact-checkers? Surely they must be more reliable about checking facts, before printing fake news, right?

What about Snopes?

Well, let’s consider Snopes, a famous fact-checker used by all the Big Tech companies to independently fact-check conservative web sites.

Here’s Snopes claiming that AOC DID NOT say that photos of the 9/11/01 terrorist attack were “triggering”.

Snopes says this claim about AOC is false
Snopes says AOC did not say it

But their own story says that AOC DID say that photos of the 9/11/01 terrorist attack were “triggering”:

Snopes says this claim about AOC is true
Snopes says AOC did say it, in their own article

Well, that’s just Snopes. Maybe other fact-checkers are different.

What about Politifact?

Politifact screwed up a fact-check during the Arizona 2018 Senate race.

The Daily Caller explains:

PolitiFact incorrectly labeled it “mostly false” that Democratic Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema “protested troops in a pink tutu” during its live fact-check of the Arizona Senate debate Monday night.

It’s an established fact that Sinema, a former Green Party activist who co-founded an anti-war group, wore a pink tutu at one of the multiple anti-war protests she attended in 2003.

Here’s their Politifact’s evaluation of McSally’s claim:

Who are you going to believe? Politifact, or your own eyes?
Who are you going to believe? Politifact, or your own eyes?

And here’s the photo of Kyrsten Sinema, protesting the troops, in a pink tutu:

Anti-war Democrat Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema
Anti-war Democrat Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema in a pink tutu

The Daily Caller notes:

A 2003 Arizona State University news article at the time described Sinema wearing “something resembling a pink tutu” at one of the protests.

The mainstream media, e.g. – the New York Times, and the major fact-checkers, e.g. Snopes and Politifact, are constantly making mistakes likes this. People need to understand that the major fact-checkers are not specially-trained investigators. They’re mostly just journalists – and journalists are known to donate overwhelmingly to Democrat candidates. I’ve blogged before about peer-reviewed studies showing the far-left bias of mainstream media journalists.

I’m not saying that journalists are just a bunch of uneducated losers who ran up student loan debt while getting drunk, getting high and being promiscuous in college. I’m just saying that journalism is not engineering. Engineers are accountable to reality. They have to solve problems in reality. Journalists often have very little education in reality based fields like math, science and engineering. They often haven’t learned to think critically. They are often swayed by feelings and peer pressure. You couldn’t trust these people to do anything useful for you, like fix your car, give you anesthetic,  or program a computer, etc. They don’t have reality-based skills that produce useful results. Their product is feelings – they allow a certain segment of society to persist in their feelings-based delusions. Their customers pay journalists for comfortable lies that affirm their moral superiority over their political enemies.

We need to have accurate views of the reliability of the mainstream media and the so-called fact-checkers, so we can be skeptical when we hear claims that sound far-fetched or made-up. Fake news is real, and it happens more often than you think.

Are Mormon doctrines supported by philosophy, science and history?

A conflict of worldviews
A conflict of worldviews

This post presents evidence against Mormonism/LDS in three main areas. The first is in the area of science. The second is in the area of philosophy. And the third is in the area of history.

The scientific evidence

First, let’s take a look at what the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, believes about the origin of the universe:

“The elements are eternal. That which had a beggining will surely have an end; take a ring, it is without beggining or end – cut it for a beggining place and at the same time you have an ending place.” (“Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith”, p. 205)

“Now, the word create came from the word baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence, we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos – chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existance from the time he had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and re-organized, but not destroyed. They had no beggining, and can have no end.”
(“Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith”, p. 395)

A Mormon scholar named Blake Ostler summarizes the Mormon view in a Mormon theological journal:

“In contrast to the self-sufficient and solitary absolute who creates ex nihilo (out of nothing), the Mormon God did not bring into being the ultimate constituents of the cosmos — neither its fundamental matter nor the space/time matrix which defines it. Hence, unlike the Necessary Being of classical theology who alone could not not exist and on which all else is contingent for existence, the personal God of Mormonism confronts uncreated realities which exist of metaphysical necessity. Such realities include inherently self-directing selves (intelligences), primordial elements (mass/energy), the natural laws which structure reality, and moral principles grounded in the intrinsic value of selves and the requirements for growth and happiness.” (Blake Ostler, “The Mormon Concept of God,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 17 (Summer 1984):65-93)

So, Mormons believe in an eternally existing universe, such that matter was never created out of nothing, and will never be destroyed. But this is at odds with modern cosmology.

The Big Bang cosmology is the most widely accepted cosmology of the day. It denies the past eternality of the universe. This peer-reviewed paper in an astrophysics journal explains. (full text here)

Excerpt:

The standard Big Bang model thus describes a universe which is not eternal in the past, but which came into being a finite time ago. Moreover,–and this deserves underscoring–the origin it posits is an absolute origin ex nihilo. For not only all matter and energy, but space and time themselves come into being at the initial cosmological singularity. As Barrow and Tipler emphasize, “At this singularity, space and time came into existence; literally nothing existed before the singularity, so, if the Universe originated at such a singularity, we would truly have a creation ex nihilo.

[…]On such a model the universe originates ex nihilo in the sense that at the initial singularity it is true that There is no earlier space-time point or it is false that Something existed prior to the singularity.

Christian cosmology requires such a creation out of nothing, but this is clearly incompatible with what Mormons believe about the universe. The claims about the universe made by the two religions are in disagreement, and we can test empirically to see who is right, using science.

Philosophical problems

Always Have a Reason contrasts two concepts of God in Mormonism: Monarchotheism and Polytheism. It turns out that Mormonism is actually a polytheistic religion, like Hinduism. In Mormonism, humans can become God and then be God of their own planet. So there are many Gods in Mormonism, not just one.

Excerpt:

[T]he notion that there are innumerable contingent “primal intelligences” is central to this Mormon concept of god (P+M, 201; Beckwith and Parrish, 101). That there is more than one god is attested in the Pearl of Great Price, particularly Abraham 4-5. This Mormon concept has the gods positioned to move “primal intelligences along the path to godhood” (Beckwith and Parrish, 114). Among these gods are other gods which were once humans, including God the Father. Brigham Young wrote, “our Father in Heaven was begotten on a previous heavenly world by His Father, and again, He was begotten by a still more ancient Father, and so on…” (Brigham Young, The Seer, 132, quoted in Beckwith and Parrish, 106).

[…]The logic of the Mormon polytheistic concept of God entails that there is an infinite number of gods. To see this, it must be noted that each god him/herself was helped on the path to godhood by another god. There is, therefore, an infinite regress of gods, each aided on his/her path to godhood by a previous god. There is no termination in this series. Now because this entails an actually infinite collection of gods, the Mormon polytheistic concept of deity must deal with all the paradoxes which come with actually existing infinities…

The idea of counting up to an actual infinite number of things by addition (it doesn’t matter what kind of thing it is) is problematic. See here.

More:

Finally, it seems polytheistic Mormonism has a difficulty at its heart–namely the infinite regress of deity.

[…]Each god relies upon a former god, which itself relies upon a former god, forever. Certainly, this is an incoherence at the core of this concept of deity, for it provides no explanation for the existence of the gods, nor does it explain the existence of the universe.

Now let’s see the historical evidence against Mormonism.

The historical evidence

J. Warner Wallace explains how the “Book of Abraham”, a part of the Mormon Scriptures, faces historical difficulties.

The Book of Abraham papyri are not as old as claimed:

Mormon prophets and teachers have always maintained that the papyri that was purchased by Joseph Smith was the actual papyri that was created and written by Abraham. In fact, early believers were told that the papyri were the writings of Abraham.

[…]There is little doubt that the earliest of leaders and witnesses believed and maintained that these papyri were, in fact the very scrolls upon which Abraham and Joseph wrote. These papyri were considered to be the original scrolls until they were later recovered in 1966. After discovering the original papyri, scientists, linguists, archeologists and investigators (both Mormon and non-Mormon) examined them and came to agree that the papyri are far too young to have been written by Abraham. They are approximately 1500 to 2000 years too late, dating from anywhere between 500 B.C. (John A. Wilson, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1968, p. 70.) and 60 A.D. If they papyri had never been discovered, this truth would never have come to light. Today, however, we know the truth, and the truth contradicts the statements of the earliest Mormon leaders and witnesses.

The Book of Abraham papyri do not claim what Joseph Smith said:

In addition to this, the existing papyri simply don’t say anything that would place them in the era related to 2000BC in ancient Egypt. The content of the papyri would at least help verify the dating of the document, even if the content had been transcribed or copied from an earlier document. But the papyri simply tell us about an ancient burial ritual and prayers that are consistent with Egyptian culture in 500BC. Nothing in the papyri hints specifically or exclusively to a time in history in which Abraham would have lived.

So there is a clear difference hear between the Bible and Mormonism, when it comes to historical verification.

Further study

If you want a nice long PDF to print out and read at lunch (which is what I did with it) you can grab this PDF by Michael Licona, entitled “Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock“.

New study: there has been NO surge in “hate crimes” since Trump was elected

Is this "epidemic" of hate crimes just like the Smollett hoax?
Is this “epidemic” of hate crimes just like the Smollett hoax?

I see that a lot of people in the mainstream media are talking about a rise in “hate crimes” since Donald Trump was elected. I was skeptical, because these are the same people who droned on and on about the self-inflicted hate crime hoax of gay activist Jussie Smollett. Well, we finally got some research from a university professor on this, and guess what? The mainstream media lied again!

First, the facts. It’s undeniable that hate crimes reported to the FBI are up. The article below says that there’s been an increase of 17% since Trump took office. But there are two reasons for that: 1) the number of police departments reporting crimes to the FBI has increased, and 2) the majority of the newly reported hate crimes are hoaxes.

The far-left Detroit News reports:

The surge has little to do with Trump and his red hat brigade. This according to Will Reilly, a Kentucky State University associate professor, who extensively researched hate-fueled violence in America for his book Hate Crime Hoax.

“Almost all of that surge is due to the simple fact that in 2017 the number of police departments reporting hate crimes to the FBI increased by 1,000,” says Reilly. “The surge narrative is pretty dishonest.”

And what about hoaxes?

Reilly studied 409 reported hate crimes over the past five years that received media attention. They include incidents such as the racist graffiti at Eastern Michigan University and the minority woman in Grand Rapids who claimed a group of white men urinated on her.

“In major cases, almost all of them have been hoaxes,” Reilly says. “The number of hate crime hoaxes actually exceeds the number of convictions. The majority of these high-profile incidents never happened.”

The same article goes on to talk about the supposed epidemic of police violence against blacks. The mainstream media has a reason to blow that out of proportion – it helps their Democrat allies if more black people are scared into voting for Democrats than Republicans. You see, Democrats love crime. They want to disarm law-abiding civilians, restrict the ability of law enforcement to protect law-abiding people, import more criminals via illegal immigration, shorten criminal sentences, and give felons the right to vote. Bernie Sanders even wants people who are in jail to have the right to vote.  So, the media has been trying to smear police to make all of this pro-criminal “compassion” seem rational.

But:

It’s also a false narrative that white cops are targeting African American men, Reilly says.

In 2015, he says, of the 1,200 Americans killed by police, just 258 were black, and only 17 of those were unarmed and shot by white officers. And yet, his research indicates just 10 percent of the media coverage of police violence focused on the non-black victims.

“White guys shot by police under identical circumstances never become national stories,” Reilly say.

[…]“It’s worth noting that that interracial crime is not a huge threat in America,” says Reilly, who is African American. “Eighty-five percent of whites are killed by other whites. Ninety-four percent of blacks are killed by other blacks.”

There are some crimes that occur that are not reported by the mainstream media, though.

A rape and murder the media didn’t report

Here’s an example of a crime that won’t be reported in the mainstream media. It was reported in the New York Post:

The fiend busted for raping a New Jersey jogger before drowning her in a lake is an illegal immigrant from Honduras who had already been kicked out of the US twice before, authorities said Thursday.

Jorge Rios, 33, was deported from the US first in 2003 and then again in 2004, but snuck back across the border at some point after that, they said.

Surveillance video showed that Rios stalked Carolina Cano, 45, before he strangled her with a cellphone cord, raped and drowned her as she was out for an early morning jog in Jersey City’s Lincoln Park on March 24, authorities said.

Her disappearance was noticed when she did not show up for church.

This sort of thing is happening more and more frequently, as the Democrats are successful at preventing Republicans from securing the border.

Here is another case from Knoxville, TN, where an illegal immigrant who had prior arrests struck and killed a woman with his vehicle.

Well,the mainstream media had a lot to say about the fake self-inflicted hate crime hoax of LGBT activist Jussie Smollett. But they didn’t have a word to say about this church-going woman who was raped and murdered by an illegal immigrant. They can’t blame crimes committed by illegal immigrants on Trump, so stories like this are not newsworthy. The Democrat party needs all the help it can get from the news media in 2020, you know.

Will the mainstream media correct their #FakeNews stories after they’re caught?

Why do people think that CNN are biased leftist clowns?
Why do people think that the mainstream media is biased?

So, we’ve had three stories that reported over and over in the mainstream media. The Trump-Russia collusion story, the Jussie Smollett hate crime, and the Covington kids hate crime. All three stories had doubts cast on them.  So how did the media respond to the new information?

Well, everyone knows about the Trump-Russia collusion story, but that came to an end last week with this Senate Intelligence Committee report.

NBC News reported:

After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.

Now the mainstream media made much of the Trump-Russia collusion charges. But did they admit their mistake after the truth came out? Not at all.

Newsbusters explains:

It’s been two days since NBC’s exclusive reporting that the Senate Intelligence Committee has found no material evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and as of yet none of the three major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) have given it even a single second of coverage in their evening newscasts. Considering these networks have given the Russia probe a massive 2,202 minutes of airtime, their silence on this major development is deafening.

The mainstream media isn’t going to spend nearly as much time reporting the facts that challenge their narrative, because that would make their Democrat allies look bad.

Well, fine, but what about the Covington kids? The mainstream media believed every story about that event that made the Trump supporting kids look bad. But then video emerged that countered their narrative. Did the mainstream media correct themselves?

Life News reports:

The liberal media took another massive blow on Wednesday after an independent investigation found that the high school students of Covington Catholic didn’t harass anyone last month at the Lincoln Memorial. Effectively proving that the liberal media reports about them were smears and lies, all three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) and principal Spanish-language networks (Telemundo and Univision) omitted the findings from their evening reports.

One of the mainstream media sources moved to the next scandal, instead:

Instead of reporting on the Covington Kids being vindicated, ABC’s World News Tonight gave more airtime to Empire star Jussie Smollett despite the continued absence of evidence he was assaulted.

So what about that alleged hate crime against Jussie Smollett? Well, Democrat politicians, Hollywood celebrities and the mainstream media spent a great deal of time blaming Trump supporters for the attack. Even though evidence was a problem from the very beginning.

And then CBS News reported this:

A source close to the investigation confirms to CBS News the brothers told detectives Smollett paid them to participate in the alleged attack on January 29 and that they purchased the rope — which was found around Smollett’s neck — at a nearby hardware store. The source said detectives have evidence to corroborate the sale, something the men’s attorney alluded to Friday night.

[…]Police said the two men — identified as Ola and Abel Osundairo — were captured on surveillance video at the time that Smollett said he was attacked.

Ola Osundairo is connected to Smollett through the hit show “Empire” where he played a prisoner in season two.

Both brothers apparently left Chicago on the day of the alleged attack and were detained when they returned Wednesday. Chicago detectives tore through their apartment looking for clues, and an evidence log shows they found ropes, masks and bleach. They were released Friday night without charges.

And how did the mainstream media respond? Most of them responded with silence. Because this isn’t want they wanted to believe, so they didn’t report it. Tweets were being deleted by people who backed Smollett’s account (check my Twitter feed for some examples of famous Democrats deleting their tweets, without apology).

So, if you’re relying on mainstream media to tell you the truth about what’s going on in the world, then I have to ask you: why do you trust the mainstream media to report the facts?

Are Mormon doctrines supported by philosophy, science and history?

A conflict of worldviews
A conflict of worldviews

This post presents evidence against Mormonism/LDS in three main areas. The first is in the area of science. The second is in the area of philosophy. And the third is in the area of history.

The scientific evidence

First, let’s take a look at what the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, believes about the origin of the universe:

“The elements are eternal. That which had a beggining will surely have an end; take a ring, it is without beggining or end – cut it for a beggining place and at the same time you have an ending place.” (“Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith”, p. 205)

“Now, the word create came from the word baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence, we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos – chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existance from the time he had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and re-organized, but not destroyed. They had no beggining, and can have no end.”
(“Scriptural Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith”, p. 395)

A Mormon scholar named Blake Ostler summarizes the Mormon view in a Mormon theological journal:

“In contrast to the self-sufficient and solitary absolute who creates ex nihilo (out of nothing), the Mormon God did not bring into being the ultimate constituents of the cosmos — neither its fundamental matter nor the space/time matrix which defines it. Hence, unlike the Necessary Being of classical theology who alone could not not exist and on which all else is contingent for existence, the personal God of Mormonism confronts uncreated realities which exist of metaphysical necessity. Such realities include inherently self-directing selves (intelligences), primordial elements (mass/energy), the natural laws which structure reality, and moral principles grounded in the intrinsic value of selves and the requirements for growth and happiness.” (Blake Ostler, “The Mormon Concept of God,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 17 (Summer 1984):65-93)

So, Mormons believe in an eternally existing universe, such that matter was never created out of nothing, and will never be destroyed. But this is at odds with modern cosmology.

The Big Bang cosmology is the most widely accepted cosmology of the day. It denies the past eternality of the universe. This peer-reviewed paper in an astrophysics journal explains. (full text here)

Excerpt:

The standard Big Bang model thus describes a universe which is not eternal in the past, but which came into being a finite time ago. Moreover,–and this deserves underscoring–the origin it posits is an absolute origin ex nihilo. For not only all matter and energy, but space and time themselves come into being at the initial cosmological singularity. As Barrow and Tipler emphasize, “At this singularity, space and time came into existence; literally nothing existed before the singularity, so, if the Universe originated at such a singularity, we would truly have a creation ex nihilo.

[…]On such a model the universe originates ex nihilo in the sense that at the initial singularity it is true that There is no earlier space-time point or it is false that Something existed prior to the singularity.

Christian cosmology requires such a creation out of nothing, but this is clearly incompatible with what Mormons believe about the universe. The claims about the universe made by the two religions are in disagreement, and we can test empirically to see who is right, using science.

Philosophical problems

Always Have a Reason contrasts two concepts of God in Mormonism: Monarchotheism and Polytheism. It turns out that although Mormonism is actually a polytheistic religion, like Hinduism. In Mormonism, humans can become God and then be God of their own planet. So there are many Gods in Mormonism, not just one.

Excerpt:

[T]he notion that there are innumerable contingent “primal intelligences” is central to this Mormon concept of god (P+M, 201; Beckwith and Parrish, 101). That there is more than one god is attested in the Pearl of Great Price, particularly Abraham 4-5. This Mormon concept has the gods positioned to move “primal intelligences along the path to godhood” (Beckwith and Parrish, 114). Among these gods are other gods which were once humans, including God the Father. Brigham Young wrote, “our Father in Heaven was begotten on a previous heavenly world by His Father, and again, He was begotten by a still more ancient Father, and so on…” (Brigham Young, The Seer, 132, quoted in Beckwith and Parrish, 106).

[…]The logic of the Mormon polytheistic concept of God entails that there is an infinite number of gods. To see this, it must be noted that each god him/herself was helped on the path to godhood by another god. There is, therefore, an infinite regress of gods, each aided on his/her path to godhood by a previous god. There is no termination in this series. Now because this entails an actually infinite collection of gods, the Mormon polytheistic concept of deity must deal with all the paradoxes which come with actually existing infinities…

The idea of counting up to an actual infinite number of things by addition (it doesn’t matter what kind of thing it is) is problematic. See here.

More:

Finally, it seems polytheistic Mormonism has a difficulty at its heart–namely the infinite regress of deity.

[…]Each god relies upon a former god, which itself relies upon a former god, forever. Certainly, this is an incoherence at the core of this concept of deity, for it provides no explanation for the existence of the gods, nor does it explain the existence of the universe.

Now let’s see the historical evidence against Mormonism.

The historical evidence

J. Warner Wallace explains how the “Book of Abraham”, a part of the Mormon Scriptures, faces historical difficulties.

The Book of Abraham papyri are not as old as claimed:

Mormon prophets and teachers have always maintained that the papyri that was purchased by Joseph Smith was the actual papyri that was created and written by Abraham. In fact, early believers were told that the papyri were the writings of Abraham.

[…]There is little doubt that the earliest of leaders and witnesses believed and maintained that these papyri were, in fact the very scrolls upon which Abraham and Joseph wrote. These papyri were considered to be the original scrolls until they were later recovered in 1966. After discovering the original papyri, scientists, linguists, archeologists and investigators (both Mormon and non-Mormon) examined them and came to agree that the papyri are far too young to have been written by Abraham. They are approximately 1500 to 2000 years too late, dating from anywhere between 500 B.C. (John A. Wilson, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1968, p. 70.) and 60 A.D. If they papyri had never been discovered, this truth would never have come to light. Today, however, we know the truth, and the truth contradicts the statements of the earliest Mormon leaders and witnesses.

The Book of Abraham papyri do not claim what Joseph Smith said:

In addition to this, the existing papyri simply don’t say anything that would place them in the era related to 2000BC in ancient Egypt. The content of the papyri would at least help verify the dating of the document, even if the content had been transcribed or copied from an earlier document. But the papyri simply tell us about an ancient burial ritual and prayers that are consistent with Egyptian culture in 500BC. Nothing in the papyri hints specifically or exclusively to a time in history in which Abraham would have lived.

So there is a clear difference hear between the Bible and Mormonism, when it comes to historical verification.

Further study

If you want a nice long PDF to print out and read at lunch (which is what I did with it) you can grab this PDF by Michael Licona, entitled “Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock“.